What’s stopping you from downsizing? Whatever it is you’re not alone. Downsizing is hard work on a lot of levels. First, it’s hard to part with things we are attached to. Second, it’s time-consuming.
But it’s also how we approach the process. Some people have no problem at all yet others can’t get started.
Four personality types emerge when it comes to downsizing, here are suggestions for all of them.
The Four Downsizing Personalities
Sounds Like: When I retire I’ll have plenty of time to sort through all of this stuff.
Your Strategy: You will have plenty of time but if you want to stop thinking about it it’s best to begin now.
- One drawer or closet shelf a week is progress.
- Set a timer and stop after 30 minutes. No matter how much you’ve finished, you’re done.
- Start with spaces in spare rooms because it’s less stress then tackling your most-used rooms.
Of course, you may want to keep going after 30 minutes and that’s great but give yourself permission to go do something else.
Sounds Like: I can’t get rid of my child’s favorite blanket, or my grandmother’s tea set, or my first wedding gift or…
Your Strategy: There’s some real psychology behind why you can’t get rid of anything. So you’re not just being emotional. But there are ways to keep and showcase the things you love.
- Photographs and old letters can go digital so you’ll always have them. Have them printed on a tea towel or throw pillow.
- Create shadow boxes with souvenirs from family vacations.
- Turn favorite baby clothing into throws or quilts for your home.
For our full blog of ideas on how to preserve your keepsakes click here.
Stuck in Neutral
Sounds Like: I don’t know what, when or where my next move is so I’m stalled. But I know I don’t want to leave it for my kids to clear out.
Your Strategy: You may move to a smaller home house, a patio home on a senior living campus or stay where you are. But getting rid of stuff is always good because you’re not leaving it for family members to deal with.
- Gift items to family members who want them. Your generosity brings joy to the receiver meanwhile you can always visit the items if you want.
- Use the Procrastinators strategy of ‘one drawer at a time’ to get you moving.
- Consider an on-line resource such as Everything But The House if you find a new place to move and need to get rid of things quickly.
Read our blog ‘Downsizing: Pro Tips from an Interior Designer’ here.
Sounds like: I don’t know what to do with all my stuff so I’m doing nothing.
Your Strategy: It’s common to want to pass things on and not just send everything to the landfill. The good news is there are lots of ways to find a new owner for some of your things.
- Donate unwanted items to local charities. Someone in the community needs and wants it and you’ll give the item a new lease on life. Here’s a Donation Value Guide to help.
- Use the Stuck in Neutral strategy of ‘gifting items to family members.’ Especially if you have antiques and heirlooms that someone wants.
- Throw broken things away.
Looking to declutter and minimize your stuff? Check out our article on Why It’s So Hard to Get Rid of My Stuff.
Life Enriching Communities, Inc. (LEC), is an integrated family of lifestyle communities and senior living services in greater Cincinnati and Westlake, OH. Best known for our Twin Towers and Twin Lakes senior living communities, and our recent affiliation with Concord Reserve in Westlake, we have made aging well a top priority for nearly 120 years.